WASA (Watercolor Art Southern Africa) is a voluntary organisation with the mission to support watermedia artists across Southern Africa in the following ways:
- EDUCATION | by connecting students with teachers and organising demos and workshops
- EXHIBITIONS | national and international opportunities to exhibit artwork
- SUPPLIES | by working with regional art distributors and retailers to improve access to watermedia supplies
- COMMUNITY | creating new artist friendships to encourage and support each other
- PROMOTION | using social media and physical events to promote member artists
WASA welcomes all watermedia such as transparent watercolor, gouache, acrylic, casein, and ink. We believe that art should be inclusive. Freedom to experiment is vital to artists. We would hate for an artist working in watercolor feel like they were not welcome because they added some accents in ink.
Members of other art organisations are welcome to join and we are happy to share non-WASA events and competitions that would be of benefit to our members. WASA exists to support artists, not to exclude other art organisations. If another society is benefitting an artist, we hope to provide them even more opportunities.
WASA exists not for profit but as a voluntary association to benefit artists. We work to keep costs for artists low. We use event entry fees toward exhibition costs and give cash awards because we know that artists now more than ever need financial support more than a printed certificate.
Absolute beginners are welcome. Everyone has to start somewhere. We believe that the world would be a better place with more artists. Our free membership means artists just getting started can benefit from connecting with other artists, attending events, watching painting demos, participating in social media critiques, and be encouraged by the work of other artists with no financial risk. We work to build skill and confidence in all our members. Our events feature beginner categories.
Our leaders are accomplished artists. We are working artists and know the struggles that artists face. Our leaders are able to apply lessons learned in their own art careers to helping our members.
Borders should not determine friendships. WASA encompasses all of Southern Africa. We originated in South Africa but realise that our neighbouring countries may not have the infrastructure or resources to support large art organisations or events. We are building connections between artists, starting in our region of the world.
We hold online as well as physical events. We understand that online events can benefit an artist as much as physical ones. What if an artist is unable to travel to a physical event, or can’t afford the costs associated with a physical event, or has trouble shipping of artworks, or has a disability? Online events have the bonus of being able to connect with artists and buyers globally.
We open up international opportunities. WASA partners connects with several organisations around the world to facilitate our members’ participation in international physical and online events.
Membership is free. The only fees are entry fees for exhibitions and competitions. Many local art societies hold regular meetings with tea and guest speakers. Some have a gallery space for members to exhibit. They may also have storage space and other costs. We do not have these costs which benefit local artists because we are international. Our physical events are in varying regions so that more artists have a chance to participate.